June 16, 2002

Posted by Ryan on Sunday, June 16, 2002

Fun Stuff

Our awesome California vacation started with a small twist thrown into things. We've been blaming Ty's fevers, fussiness, refusal to eat and other symptoms on teething. However, upon arriving to Saint George he just felt too warm to resist taking him in any longer. After spending the morning finding someone to take us we found out he had an ear infection and strep. He got two shots and we delayed a day in St. George to watch him. Luckily he felt better quickly and the fun went on!

Well-the fun went on after the 10 hour drive was over I should say. We were about to die by the time we reached Victorville and were then saved by the friendly Chuckee Cheese sign. We had a great break and decided Chuckee Cheese in Victorville should be part of the California experience from now on. Barstow is much too dirty for our taste. You just cringe watching Ty walk into the playland there.

Ty's favorite parts about Disneyland were climbing the stairs in Chip & Dale's playhouse, Tarzan's tree house and the water fountain at Toon Town (he was very upset we wouldn't let him jump in). He also liked talking on the Toon Town phone, pushing the Toon Town doorbell, climbing over the little fence by Mr. Rabbit's door and playing with Dad in King Tritons shooting water. He was pretty neutral about the rides-as long as he didn't have to stand in line. He just sat between us calmly whether we were in Pirates, the Haunted House, Dumbo or Alice in Wonderland. He is just not quite old enough to be scared or excited-he's just along for the ride.

Ty's favorite part at Sea World was petting and feeding the sting Ray's. That was really the only hands-on thing we did. Ryan and I loved the shows-dogs jumping on little boats, pigs going through obstacle courses, sea lions mimicking their trainers, people surfing on dolphins and killer whales, acrobats performing on poles and bungee cords over the ocean bay and a 3-D pirate movie where water falls on you as the seagulls dump. Ty watched the pirate movie with great concentration, but we're not sure what he saw because he absolutely refused to wear the glasses.

There was one particular ride that we did that's worth mentioning. In the new California Adventure theme park they have a ride called "Soaring Over California." They put you in these hanging chairs and pull you about 40 feet in the air in front of a rounded screen. The chairs move as you hang glide over various areas of California. As you pass over the orange fields, you smell the oranges. As you pass over the oceans, you feel the mists. It was so cool. We were able to go on it thanks to Beth and her kids, who watched Ty for us when we went.

But the best part of all was just getting to know family better. We stayed most of the time with Linda and Paul (Tamie's Aunt and Uncle). Marcy and Carrie (Tamie's cousins) praised their Mom for always being such a great friend to them. If they wanted to ditch school they would call her and as long as they didn't have anything big going on in class she would excuse them to come home with friends and have a treat waiting. They were always willing to tell her what was happening in their lives and you can see how that relationship only gets stronger now. They also praised their Dad for how positive he was waking them every morning with his silly songs. He would turn the lights on, sing the wake up song then lay by them in bed and fall back asleep. He would also pack them very healthy lunches always sticking a prune in with the carrots. Carrie ate hers because she didn't want to hurt his feelings. Once for Saint Patrick's Day Paul made four-leaf clovers for the girls to wear with their names on it. Marcy was teased at the bus stop because St. Patrick's Day was really the following day but she stubbornly kept it on all day so her Dad wouldn't feel bad. We just loved hearing these stories and seeing the positive family interaction. Aaron and Phillip fit in so easily and add great spice of their own-it is a family that is very easy to fit into and feel at home with.

One night we went with Carrie, Phillip and McKay to a ward barbeque and petting zoo. What a great (and elaborate) ward activity! There was a pony, a white bunny, chickens, and a goat that kept putting his face right in front of Ty. They had a live band playing country music and all the kids were dancing on the lawn. Ty even took his place right up in the front doing his bounce.

Our beach experience was fun. Ty loved running in the sand after the seagulls. He would trip fairly often, then just giggle, get up, trip, giggle and he was fully entertained. He also liked having Daddy burry his legs then he could push the sand away. He was more timid in the water and would lift his legs when it came towards him. Very cute.

We continue to have fun times being home from vacation. We did the $6 after 6:00 deal at Seven Peaks the other night and I think Ty enjoyed it more than anything else we've done this summer. He can touch in the baby pool and he just loves to run in the water. Even after falling, he gets right back up giggling, yelling and grinning going to his next destination. He is a crazy kid and needs much careful attention to not hurt himself.

Yesterday we went with some friends to an herb farm with a hay ride and exotic animals in Santaquin. These people are pretty religious about their healing oils. Although we don't think we could ever swear by them the way they do, being attacked by my animal allergy they gave me some oil to rub on my chest and feet and I felt a lot better. I'm sure there is something to it-all in moderation. They do all have great complexions, and seem really healthy. We were just a little weirded out when the lady waved her hands around Ryan to get rid of "computer static." They claim to have oils for almost anything-morning sickness, arthritis, stretch marks, scars, etc. There's a huge encyclopedia. If anyone is desperate to try anything (like I felt during pregnancy) I have their website. I'd be curious to see if it works.

Announcements

Marcy and Aaron are pregnant (Tamie's cousin)! As soon as we saw Marcy she mentioned not feeling well and I asked if she was pregnant. Her, Linda and Carrie exchanged glances before she confirmed she was. She was only going to tell if we asked-like I wouldn't ask! We are so so so excited. She'll be due in February.

We heard through the grapevine that Katie (Tamie's sister) and Tucker (Katie's husband) have found a house near West Valley with an incredible backyard (ground trampoline, play house, fenced-in, flowers, dog walk-the works) that they are going to bid on. Congratulations!

Grandpa Alma Heaton (Ryan's Grandpa) is in the hospital again with some heart issues. He will be there for a few days and we all hope he will recover quickly and get back to his great, energetic and inspiring life.

The Heatons just got back from an incredible trip to London, Prague, St Petersburg, Moscow and Samara. Karynn mentioned how incredible the big Russian cities were but how sad to see these sights realizing how grand the country was before communism. Russia could have been something much different today. I was surprised to hear you could go see Lenin's remains in a glass tomb very well preserved and heavily guarded. I was also surprised to hear that there is no such thing as taxis. Missionaries just pretty much hitchhike. You stick your hand out, a car stops, and you bargain a price and hitch a ride. Chris and Hal loved seeing some of the members Chris worked with-they really love him. I should also mention that Jenna bought some very cute Doc Martin sandals in London.

Special Edition

Dennis, Janet, Robert and Daniel are official heros now-especially Robert and Dad. They were watching the Ironman Triatholon competition last Saturday from the boat when a sudden storm hit Utah Lake causing four-foot swells. The competition was cancelled and only a couple boats were available to rescue the swimmers. They took the boat out in dangerous waters, waves splashed over them, Daniel and Mom were throwing up but Dad maneuvered around the swimmers while Robert pulled men in and threw out life jackets to those they couldn't get to. The Bramble boat actually rescued a man they found under water and gave him CPR but he had already drowned. That is how serious these swells were. Well, the boat made about three trips filled with 15 men each, but barely made it in the last time being so full of water. A lot of boat damage was done and it is now in the shop for at least a couple weeks being repaired. What a courageous family and an unforgettable memory.

Spiritual Lessons

Okay, so here's a question for you all: If God wanted Adam and Eve to break His commandment to not partake of the fruit, are there other commandments God has given to us that he wants us to break?

Dad (Dennis) posed this question the other day. A young man asked this during the young men's lesson, and he didn't know how to answer. Well, at the time he posed it to us, I didn't know quite know how to respond, either, but I knew that there was something that bothered me about the question. I knew it wasn't the right question to be asking, but I didn't know how to explain how or why.

Well, after pondering on it and assembling my thoughts on the subject, the topic has turned out to bear an abundance of spiritual fruit, and we thought we'd like to share some of it with you.

So, here's the problem with the question: it assumes that God wanted Adam and Eve to partake of the fruit. But as we consider the reason that God gave the commandment, it was to give Adam and Eve their agency. Think about it: without God's commandment, there was neither good nor bad, neither righteousness nor wickedness. Before the commandment was given, Adam and Eve had no choice; they could neither keep the commandment nor break it. But as soon as God gave Adam and Eve a commandment, they were given a choice-they were given their agency. See 2 Nephi 2.

So let's think about the question again: Did God want Adam and Eve to break His commandment? No. He didn't want them to break it, but He didn't want them to keep it, either. The point is: He didn't want. Period.

To clarify this, let's ask the sister question: Did God want His Only Begotten to perform the atonement? The question is connected to the earlier one because if God wanted Adam and Eve to break His commandment, it's implied that God wanted Christ to perform the atonement. At first, this seems to make sense, but let's think about this more. Did God really want His Beloved Son to go through such incomprehensible agony? Does any father want their son to suffer? No.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son" (John 3: 16). God sacrificed our Savior not because He wanted to but because He had to. It was the only way that we could have Eternal Life. It was the only way by which we could retain our agency. It was the only way by which we could make mistakes and still come to live as They are. Oh, there was an alternative: the choice could have been denied to us. God could force us to keep His commandments. But then, would we ever really have become like Him? Could we ever truly become righteous if we never had to withstand temptation or pass through sorrow or the pain of repentance? No.

It's easy to see how God loves us enough to bless us so abundantly when we choose the right. But that's only part of the big picture. It's harder to see how God loves us enough to let us make mistakes. The good or bad choices we make don't matter as much as the decision to repent or not. God does not want us to sin or disobey commandments. God wants us to repent.

This truth has given us so much comfort, especially as we consider the awful things that we see happen when God's children choose wickedness over righteousness. For a very recent example, let's take the awful tragedy of the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart. It's easy to see how much God loves the Smart family when He blesses them with comfort and support for their faith and prayers. But it's harder to see the other side: how much God loves the kidnapper when He lets Him choose such awful wickedness. The same principle can be applied to those involved in the attacks of September 11, and so on.

So, with all of this said, the personal application of these things becomes simple. As we strive to teach our children righteousness and truth, we realize more and more that God's plan is the only plan. Our children must be given their agency. It's easy to love them enough to let them choose what we know is right. But if that's all we do, we're missing a very critical element in parenthood. It's much, much harder to love them enough to let them choose what we know is wrong.

How grateful we are for God's Love: Jesus Christ, the way, the truth, and the light! We know that it's only through Him that we can truly obtain Eternal Life.

Love,

Ryan, Tamie and Tyran.